In the wake of the latest economic downturn, the U. S. Treasury Department has taken the radical step of eliminating the one-dollar bill.
"It was just becoming too much of a nuisance," said Treasury spokesperson Buck Simoleon. "What with its declining value and the daily rise in the price of gasoline, it just didn’t make sense to keep making them."
Recent inflationary threats have made it economically impractical to produce the greenback. According to Mr. Simoleon, it now costs the Treasury Department close to ninety cents to print one.
"We just don’t think it’s worth it anymore," said Mr. Simoleon. "Especially since many people don’t even treat the dollar bill like real money."
More and more merchants have been avoiding the problem of unwanted singles by simply rounding consumer purchases up to the nearest ten dollars.
"It was such a pain to always be running to the bank to get more ones," said store owner Rhea Tale. "And half the time, the bank didn’t have any."
Apparently consumers are simply throwing their ones in empty coffee cans, old ashtrays and sock drawers. The Treasury Department has been urging citizens to keep the bills in circulation but few seem to be taking heed.
"We experimented briefly with a ‘take a dollar, leave a dollar’ tray that merchants could place at the cash register," said Mr. Simoleon. "But it seems people just can’t be bothered. A lot of folks these days won’t even bend over to pick up a dollar off the floor."
Gas stations have been particularly annoyed with the one-dollar bill. With the average gasoline purchase rapidly approaching three-figures, it is increasingly becoming a major annoyance to have to break anything smaller than a ten.
"People who come in to get gas are in a hurry," said station owner Phil R. Upp. "They don’t want to be slowed down by some store clerk trying to make exact change from a hundred. They just want to get their gas and get going."
Other nations have already tackled the one-dollar bill problem by converting their lower-denominated paper currency to coins. Canada, for example, has a one and a two-dollar coin and Great Britain has one and two-pound equivalents. However, the Treasury spokesperson did not view this as a long-term solution.
"Let’s face it," said Mr. Simoleon. "It’s even more expensive to mint a coin than to print a bill and I don’t see our dollar heading anywhere but south for the foreseeable future."
Surprisingly, most Americans seem unconcerned about the elimination of the dollar bill including President Bush.
"It’s really no big deal," said the President. "Like most Americans, we here at The White House haven’t used dollar bills for a long time now; we just put everything on credit."